Hamels Surgically Neuters Nats

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1. 90. 8. 6. Final

The Phillies put their best foot forward in a Saturday late afternoon game, dominating the host Washington Nationals 8-1 behind ace Cole Hamels and a big day for their offense.

Hamels was brilliant, shutting out the Nats for the first 7.2 innings. In his 8 innings of work, the Phils’ ace allowed just 5 hits, striking out 5 and walking just one batter. He threw 104 pitches, 73 of those for strikes.

His counterpart in what was billed as a big-time pitching battle, Stephen Strasburg, turned out to be no match for either Hamels or the Phillies hitters. He lasted just 3.2 innings, allowing 5 earned runs and 7 hits with a walk. The poor outing raised Strasburg’s ERA to a ghastly 6.50 on the season, which might be indicative of some physical problem.

The Phillies started it out with a crooked number in the top of the 3rd, scoring four times. Ben Revere walked with one out, and was followed by a double off the bat of Cesar Hernandez, who was celebrating his 25th birthday. Revere then scored on a ground out, the first of 3 runs he would tally on the day.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Ryan Howard drilled a double to right, scoring Hernandez to make it 2-0, and Maikel Franco then parked one in the right center seats to push the Phillies lead out to 4-0. It was Franco’s 2nd homer of the season and of his big league career.

The Phils then tacked on two more in the top of the 4th. Odubel Herrera led off with a double, and went to 3rd on a base hit by Hamels, who advanced to 2nd on a throwing error by Nats’ right fielder Bryce Harper.

Revere then drilled an rbi single to left, scoring Herrera. Hamels also tried to score on the play, and was thrown out on a nice play by Nats’ left fielder Michael Taylor, with Revere advancing to 2nd on the play. Hernandez then reached on an error by Nats’ shortstop Ian Desmond, with Revere scoring on the play to make it 6-0 and drive Strasburg from the game.

May 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) is removed from the game against the Philadelphia Phillies by Washington Nationals manager

Matt Williams

(9) during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit:

Brad Mills

-USA TODAY Sports

Howard led off the top of the 5th with his 10th homerun of the season, this off Nats’ reliever A.J. Cole. Revere scored his 3rd run in the top of the 6th, and the Phillies had their first legitimate blowout of the season going with an 8-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Hamels was doing his thing, cutting the Nationals batters down with surgical precision. With the trade rumors involving the lefty again heating up, he went virtually untouched by anything of note until Desmond doubled with 2 out in the 8th, scoring Taylor, who had led off with a single.

Justin De Fratus came on to close it out in the 9th, and he continued the pitching domination by Phillies arms. De Fratus struck out both Harper and Tyler Moore to start the frame, then got Wilson Ramos on an easy grounder to Howard to end it.

The victory got the Fightin’ Phils back to .500 on this road trip. With that 3-3 record already, they will send Aaron Harang to the mound on Sunday afternoon to try for a series victory. He’ll be opposed by lefty and ex-Phil Gio Gonzalez in what is scheduled to be a 1:35pm start at Nationals Park.

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